Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dollars and Scents

As a proud consumer of Pert Plus, I’ve always considered myself a pretty simple person when it comes to beauty products. You can be sure I’ve got something special going on that day when I break out the separate shampoo and conditioner. I use my Dove bar soap in the shower, and my lotion is purchased at the pet store, designed for the hooves of horses. Needless to say, it is on the rarest of occasions that I set foot in a store like Bath and Body Works. One such occasion was last week.

My sister Kelly’s birthday was on Wednesday, and traditionally we simply go back to the items leftover from her Christmas list to find gift ideas. I chose this strategy and acquired a list of supplies from Bath and Body Works that hadn't turned up under the tree. There’s a Bath and Body Works location close to my house and since I didn’t have much to spend, I figured I could zip in there, pick up something small, and be on my way. So with a list of desirable items, a ten dollar bill, and the kiddos in tow, I headed out the door.

It took all I had to actually enter the store that I typically don’t walk past without holding my breath, but as I lingered by the open door my body began to acclimate and the sensation of passing out subsided. Upon entering, I was pleasantly surprised that a sale appeared to be going on. I had my doubts when I began reading price tags, but the enthusiastic signage assured me that this was indeed a “sale”. Had it not been for this bit of provident fortune, I would have headed home to gift-wrap a tube of lip balm.

I started at the top of my list under the heading “Shower Gels”. Looking up from the paper, I found myself standing before three bins of sale-priced shower gels. This would be easier than I thought! I dug through the bottles looking for either Peony, Tropical Passion Fruit, or Magnolia Blossom, but to no avail. Apparently Kelly had popular taste. I moved on to the next sub-heading: “Wallflowers”. What was a wallflower? Did it come in a bottle? Did you spray it, smear it, or lather it? Facing far too many unknowns, I decided against questing after this option.

I then saw that there was one item on the list that stood alone, no scent listing, no sub-category: “Aquatanic Spa Vitalizing Marine Body Tonic”. Intimidated though I was by its formidable title, I had already made visual contact with the “Spa” section of the store and began moving in that direction. As I stared up at row after row of Aqutanic Spa product, the last item on Kelly’s list became more and more enticing: “Gift Card”. But determined to get her a 3-dimentional birthday present, I pressed on.

As I began to wonder if I would ever breath fresh air again, the sales clerk must have taken note of my split-ends and unscented aura and quickly recognized my plight. “Can I help you find something?” she asked sympathetically. At first I read items off the list to her, but soon she had taken the list and was zipping around the store in search of a match. I did my best to keep up with my stroller and mesmerized two-year-old but soon realized that much like chasing a butterfly, it was best to wait for her to land on something before attempting to approach her. I watched from a distance as she scanned labels on a shelf and when she turned around she had two bottles in her hand. “Black Raspberry Vanilla Shampoo and Conditioner.” She stated with a satisfied nod.

“How much are they?” I asked, fearing her response.

“They’re on sale!” she gushed, “Two for ten dollars.”

“Perfect!” I exclaimed. “I’ll take them”.

Remembering her sales training, she held up a small metal can. “Would you also like the matching Body Butter?”

As tempting as it was, I only had ten dollars. Kelly would have to churn her own. We headed to the checkout desk, made the purchase, and stepped back into the real world. It didn’t smell like Gardenia, Coconut Lime Verbana, or Sensual Amber. It smelled like a combination of exhaust, French fries, and the adjacent Petmart store. We headed toward the latter establishment so the girls could look at the fish. “While I’m there,” I thought to myself, “I may as well pick up some lotion for myself, too.”

Monday, January 01, 2007

More Than Okay

Here I am! I’m okay! I’m not dead or anything. Just slacking off. But I appreciate everyone who emailed to check for signs of life throughout my silence. I’ve simply been in a creative drought for the last few months, as I’ve mentioned in several of my “recent” posts. It’s just been really difficult lately to think beyond the here and now, much less write about it in a cognitive way. On top of that, I’ve been unusually tired and my brain hasn’t been firing on all cylinders. I forget things I normally remember and am more easily confused. I know with symptoms like that, it doesn’t sound like I’m doing okay. But actually, I’m more than okay. I’m pregnant.

This is my third time around, so I’m no stranger to the “pregnancy fog”, as many women call it. I forget things at the store, forget to order things off my sandwiches, I struggle to write songs, and I don’t cook as well. It’s a very real thing, this fog, and it’s caused by an actual slight decrease in oxygen to the brain. This condition was a bit disheartening to learn about in my first pregnancy, but I know now that it’s only temporary. At least, I think it is. As far as I can tell I seem to go back to normal, but maybe I should retake the SATs after this baby is born, just to make sure.

Anyway, enough excuses for not blogging. All the women reading want to know the stats. Well, I’m 16 weeks, due on June 21st. Our ultrasound is on the 11th, and yes we’re finding out, and yes we will tell people. The name, however, will remain a secret as usual. But it’s already picked out, so while you’re welcome to throw in your suggestions, know that it will not be considered. (especially you Wajonians… I’ve seen your name suggestions beforeJ) We’re very excited about it, and Bethany talks about it all the time. She is very clear that she wants a baby girl, not a baby boy, and she wants to name her Melody, which is the Little Mermaid’s daughter’s name. She also takes her plastic stethoscope and listens to the baby’s heartbeat. It’s all very cute.

So, as Matthew says, we’re preparing to move from man-to-man defense to zone, if one can really prepare for that. I’ve gathered from other moms that the jump from 1 to 2 is somewhat difficult, from 2 to 3 is the hardest, and after that you kind of just lose count. So we’re gearing up for the challenge, feeling incredibly blessed by the wonderful kids we already have and the privilege to be given another. Hopefully I’ll blog a little more consistently, but no promises. If I do disappear for a while, I’ve probably just chosen to spend my free time doing something else, like resting, napping, or eating ice cream from the carton. Now, if I can just remember where I put that spoon…